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Dreadlocks Story: Uncovering the hidden connection of Hindu Sadhus and Jamaican Rastas

The only documentary made which uncovers the hidden link between Hindu sadhus and Jamaican Rastas

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Image source: www.documentarydude.com

By Shubhi Mangla

“Dreadlocks Story” is an 83-minute documentary which conveys the spiritual connection between Indian Sadhus and Jamaican Rastas. The Film was screened in four countries; India, Jamaica, USA and France and has gained a lot of momentum since last year. The documentary not only portrays the ethnic and rich heritage of Jamaica and but also talks about the roots of Rastafarian movement which was largely influenced by Hindu traditions. It reveals the secrets of Rastas in a unique way. The film is available in English, Hindi, French and Jamaican Patios with English, French and Spanish subtitles. Beginning right from the dreadlock’s hair style, the documentary takes its audience towards the never known history of Jamaica. The documentary also portrays the experiences of African slaves and how Indian workers were forced into servitude.

You can watch the trailer here

The film has been part of world’s biggest film festivals and cultural events. It has won many awards for Best Feature Documentary at 12 Months Film Festival in Romania, Davis International Film Festival in California, USA, IPHIAS in Jamaica and Intimalente Ethnographic Film Festival, Italy. Also winning the Platinum Documentary Feature Competition in Nevada International Film Festival, Nevada, USA.

About the Filmmaker

 Linda Ainouche- www.afrykamera.pl
Linda Ainouche- www.afrykamera.pl

The documentary is written, directed and produced by Linda Ainouche, an Anthropologist Researcher. She was born in France and has stayed in a couple of counties throughout her life. She is currently settled in New York. She came up with this documentary to provide a platform to the Rastafari movement and Indian influence on it.  Being an avid traveller she developed interest in exploring international cultural connections.

As a multi-lingual ethnographer and culture analyst, her works have been widely published in Hindi and English. Apart from Dreadlock story, she is also recognized for her works in Jainism. Linda is the founder of Look At My Productions. She has also worked with leading filmmakers and cultural consultants. She enjoys producing live events. Linda has a brilliant capability to go deep into the subject of her research and bring out the best in it.

The Dreadlocks Story

The documentary conveyed the spiritual link between the much criticized Dreadlock hairstyle and the Hindu culture. The documentary managed to touch sensitive topics like beliefs and superstitions in a much lighter way. In just a few minutes, it managed to answers various questions relating to Indian heritage in the history of Jamaican society. It gives a glimpse of the Rasta way of life and Hindu sadhus being involoved in it.

vimeo.com
vimeo.com

Filmmaker Linda Ainouche said in an interview conducted by India Empire Group, “Through it, I wanted to show people that in the face of adversity there is still hope, beauty, and the possibility of something new. By examining the diverse influences found in Rasta culture, Dreadlocks Story exhibits the strength and magnificence of a movement grounded in anti-slavery and anti-imperialist struggles. My findings also affirm the continued importance of Indian heritage in Jamaican society. We find it in various aspects, including cuisine, language, agriculture and medicine, to name just a few. The Hindu way of life, especially of Sadhus, can be seen in the practices of the Rasta way of life”.

Like India too, Jamaica was also ruled by British colonialists till 1962. Both Indians and Afro-Jamaicans were abducted and forced to work in sugar and banana plantations in Jamaica. The positive relationship of Indian slaves with their daily hardships shows that enslaved people have not only come from Africa. The African and Indian labourers were also bounded with contracts.

The pioneer of the Rastafari movement, Leonard Percival Howell was the First Rasta who believed that everyone should be divine through the anatomy of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia thus starting the Rasta movement. His early followers were mostly poor and mentally oppressed people. Howell spent two years in jail and wrote a pamphlet under an Indian pen name, Gangunguru Maharaj which noted the significance of lifestyles of Jamaican Rastas and Indian sadhus (Holy men).

Leonard Percival Howell- twitter.com
Leonard Percival Howell- twitter.com

Howell, became the first black man to own a piece of land called ‘Pinnacle’, where he formed a self-dependent community for his followers. However, the community was completely destroyed by the colonists in 1958 which resulted in huge displacement of Rastas from Jamaica.

Wearing dreadlocks, became a means of defiance against the Pinnacle community. Today, dreadlocks are not only found in Jamaica but also in the Caribbean. Although today, a few accommodations have been made for Rastafarians, their struggle against discrimination and prejudice are still rife.

Reference:

http://www.dreadlockstory.com/

Shubhi Mangla is a student of Journalism and Mass Communiaction in New Delhi. Follow her on twitter @shubhi_mangla

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Dreadlocks have been one of the most fascinating thing for me since I was a child. I’m looking forward to watch this interesting movie

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Himalayan Yogi Swami Sundaranand to open art gallery consisting 8 quintal photographs

Wanderer Baba aka Click Baba Swami Sundaranand is all set to open his art gallery

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Himalayan Yogi
Himalayan Yogi Swami Sundaranand (Wikimedia Commons)
  • Himalayan Yogi Swami Sundaranand is also known as “Himalayan Wikipedia Baba”, have clicked 8 quintal photos in beautiful Himalayas

You must have heard about many Himalayan yogi living upto hundreds of years and having miracle powers. But this is the story of a wanderer Sadhu, who is a mountaineer and photographer by choice. He has a deep connection with Himalayas. Swami Sundaranand is known to be a principal advocate for the ecological preservation of the Himalayas, the Ganges and its source at Gangotri.

During 1962 war Indian Army also sought help from this Himalayan Yogi as he was very much aware with all the routes and region in Himalayas.

Swami Sundaranand’s love for Himalayas started at a young age when he read a book named “Himgiri Vihaar” by Tapovan Maharaja. He was so inspired by the book that he went to Tapovan Maharaja and started Yoga Sadhna under his guidance.

Swami Sundaranand
Tapovan Kutir, where Swami Sundaranand lives in the summer (Facebook)

In 1956 he bought a camera for Rs. 25 from a Belgian tourist. And since then he has been clicking pictures of the beautiful Himalayas. He has taken more than 100,000 photos, over a 50-year period, of the shrinking Gangotri glacier in the Indian Himalayas. The photographs he clicked weighs around 8 quintals.

  • The most awaited Art Gallery by Himalayan Yogi Swami Sundaranand will open in Gangotri region

Himalayan Yogi Swami Sundaranand is now all set to open his Himalayan art gallery at a height of 10,310 feet in Gangotri region. The construction has already begun. He has invested Rs. 2 crores in this project, money which he got through royalty of his book “Himalaya : Through a lens of a Sadhu”. His book was launched by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Swami Sundaranand is the subject of a feature documentary shot at his home in Gangotri titled “Personal time with Swamiji”. The film was produced by The Centre for Healing Arts and directed by Victor Demko.

Himalayan Yogi
Swami Sundaranand’s Art Gallery under construction in Gangotri Region (Facebook)

Himalayan Yogi Swami Sundaranand is also a skilled naturalist who is familiar with thousands of Himalayan plants and he knows the lore and medicinal uses of these species. The most important parts of his life are meditation, japa and pranayama. As a younger man he was an accomplished hatha yogi, mastering 300 postures, and he continues to practice it daily. He is very devoted to the ecosystem in which he has lived for forty years and believes that “God does not reside in temples or mosques – he is scattered everywhere in the courtyard of nature.

So Himalayan Yogi’s art gallery you can not miss to visit! Plan your trip soon and thank us later.

– by Shaurya Ritwik, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik

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Jadav Molai Peyang: Forest Man of India

Jadav Molai Peyang, 'Forest Man of India' single-handedly plants 1360 acre of forest on a barren sandbar.

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Indian Forest Man
Jadav Peyang, Forest Man of India. Wikimedia Commons.

There are many international organizations that have been working to save our planet from many harms of deforestation but there is one Indian man who, single-handedly, gave rise to the forest in 1360 acre land and converted it into the man-made forest in India and that man is Jadav Molai Peyang.
Jadav Peyang’s story was first discovered by journalist Jitu Kalita when he was stalking the vultures on the other end of Arun Sapori, an over 1,000-hectare riverine island on the Brahmaputra when he saw the forested area and found Peyang’s story there.
The forest man has planted over 1500-saplings since 1980 which has grown into the famous, Molai Kathoni, the forest famously named after his maker. Peyang had started this initiative as a teenager who started planting bamboo in the woodland after he had witnessed deaths of several snakes at the shore when water had resided from the area after a flood. Following that horrifying scenario, he sought the advice from the village elders who asked him to grow a forest as only the forest can save the lives of birds and animals. Since then, Peyang’s Molai Forest has developed its own ecosystem as deer, rabbits, rhinoceros, Bengal tigers, birds, insects have inhabited the forest which consists of trees such as Bamboo, valcol, Arjun, Pride of India, silk trees, cotton trees, to name a few. But it was a herd of 100 elephants that brought the attention of Assam’s forest department on Peyang in 2008. The elephants pay a yearly visit to his forest and give birth to their calves in the comfort there.
But the journey of creating a barren sandbar in the middle of the river Brahmaputra of Assam into the thriving forest that it is today wasn’t easy.
In the initial stages, he found planting trees extremely difficult and time-consuming but now as he gets the seeds from the trees, the forest seems to live on itself.
The forest man was the first part of the 5-year project launched by the Assam Forestry Division in Aruna Chapori in 1980 with an aim to reforest two hundred hectares of land. Peyang enrolled for the job and started planting trees for the project though, the project was finished in five years, Peyang had stayed and spread his own project bigger than Central Park, NYC (842.6 acres). Since his first project, he has been invited to several environmental conferences, conferred many honors among which is Padam Shri, the highest civilian award and ‘Forest Man of India’ by JNU along with the recent honor bestowed on Jitu Kalita and Jadav Peyang by Taiwan Government for their efforts.
The forest man’s story is full of inspiration and compassion as he keeps providing shelter to various insects and animals while his family, which consists of two sons, a daughter, and his wife subsides on the income provided by their livestock, there is a lot to learn from him. He had braved several threats and all he has to say to them, ‘Kill me first, before you kill my forest,’ but his ideas for the world remains unknown among the several honors.

Samridhi Nain. Samridhi is a student of Philosophy (Hons.) from University of Delhi.

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5 Beautiful Indian Sportswomen you Want to Know About

These eight women with their talent and achievements have set a benchmark for the meaning of true beauty.

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Indian
Akanksha Singh. Instagram.
  • Indian sports personalities like Saina Nehwal and Smriti Mandhana have shown us the true meaning of being bold and beautiful.
  • There achievements have been an inspiration for women to rise.

Beauty and style have always corresponded with looks, but these Indian sportswomen have shunned such critics. With their style and achievements, they have told us that beauty is about the way you embody confidence and lead in life. Their accomplishments have inspired many Indian women to be like her.

1. Smriti Mandhana:

She is one the beautiful indian sportswomen

Smriti Mandhana is a 21-year-old Indian cricketer who currently plays for the Indian women’s cricket team. She made her Test debut in against England August 2014 and helped her team in winning the match by scoring 22 and 51 runs in her first and second innings, respectively. The sports personality came into the limelight after she scored a 90 against England in the group matches in World Cup 2017.

2. Babita Phogat

She is one the beautiful indian sportswomen

Babita Kumari Phogat, the younger sister of Geeta Phogat, is a 27-year-old Indian female wrestler and a gold medal recipient in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The Haryana girl has won a silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi, and a bronze medal at the 2012 World Wrestling Championships.

y to Academy Awards next year

3. Deepika Pallikal

Deepika Pallikal is an Indian squash player, and the first one to break into the top 10 WSA rankings. She was honored with Arjuna Award in 2012 and Padma Shri in 2014. Her highest ranking has been World no. 10. Her current ranking is World no. 19. Apart from all her achievements, She is one the beautiful indian sportswomen.

 

4. Saina Nehwal

Indian
Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal is an Indian badminton singles player, who is currently the World No. 12. She became the World no. 1 in 2015. Nehwal has won over twenty-one international titles. She after, Prakash Padukone became the only Indian player to achieve this ranking. Nehwal has represented India three times in the Olympics and won a bronze medal in her second appearance.

5. Akanksha Singh

Indian
Akanksha Singh.                                                                                                                                            Instagram.

Akanksha Singh is a 28-year-old Indian Basketball player and the current captain of the country’s Women’s National Basketball Team. She has been a member of the national women team since 2004 to till date. She has been accoladed with the best player in many national and state championships. During her captaincy at Delhi University, she won a gold medal in All India University basketball championship at Nallor.

 

by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. 


 

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